Yet another reason why everybody is morbidly obese, apart from the desk job and the trans fats and the Pringles:
Keeping your house cool has benefits beyond reducing heating costs, because cold temperatures activate a substance called brown fat that adults carry on their upper back and neck. (Babies have it, too, since they can’t shiver effectively.) Also known as brown adipose tissue, brown fat acts as an internal furnace that consumes many calories, unlike regular fat, which stores extra energy and calories. The only catch is that brown fat must be activated first in order to start burning calories, and cool temperatures can do that.
A new study from Britain links rising indoor temperatures to obesity. Central heating has become common in American and British homes since 1960, and room temperatures and obesity have risen simultaneously.
Not that anyone actually eats more during colder times of the year, like from, oh, let’s say, late November through the first couple of days of January.
This is, I think, the first time that actual shivering has been pitched to me as some sort of health benefit. (Which explains why the homeless live so much longer than the rest of us, right?) I remain persuaded that this is a plot by the Death Panels™ to make us all wish we were dead and thereby save them some work.